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Old 12-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
richarddelano2's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pawtucket, RI
Posts: 6

Opinions Matter

Hello everyone, this is my first post so please bear with me. Its going to be a long one so I hope you read it to it's conclusion. It's about Drug Replacement Therapy and how the "Opinion" of NA needs to change.

"How do we SHOW the addict who is on DRT that they ARE welcome?
“One of the first things we heard was that NA is a program of complete abstinence and "The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using." Some of us, upon hearing these statements, may have felt that we were not welcome at NA meetings until we were clean. But NA members reassured us that this was not the case and we were encouraged to "keep coming back."
But they find as they keep doing as suggested, to keep coming back, people have the opinion that they are not clean, therefore cannot be trusted and are treated differently, in my opinion and experience.

“NA lip service tells newcomers that everyone works the program in their own way, the only thing required for membership is a desire to stop using, and to keep coming back. But when the 'rubber meets the road' in actual practice, people on maintenance discover this is not really true. Despite the fact that some of these people are 100% abstinent from their DOC, and everything else but maintenance.”
Some hold full time jobs, are involved in their recovery, active in their groups, are now fully present in the lives of their families and many, many other examples of an individual in "Recovery"...not just abstinent from their DOC. I know of several such people who came to Narcotics Anonymous hoping to find a new way to live and have, despite the fact that they are on DRT's.

Let me digress for a moment. I remember a time that medications for depression, anxiety and others with mental and emotional illness, were shunned upon and if someone was on them they were considered, By NA's standards, not clean. How many people do we know that are on such medications. Is their clean time any less valid than the person on DRT who is living a new way of life because of the
principles of the Narcotics Anonymous program?

Now lets look at some of the people with time. How many do we also know that have bought & sold drugs in or out of meetings, hit on newcomers when they themselves have substantial lengths of clean time, gone to the casino or played the horses or scratch tickets to bring themselves and sometimes their families to the point of ruin?

The fellowship was started in 1953 by a number of very dedicated individuals, Jimmy K being the main inspiration, because they could not find the identification they needed because "Alcohol" was to limited a term & substance. So they focused the wording on our "Addiction" and not so much as a specific drug. But now how many members who are on DRT, cant find the identification here in NA, go back out use & die, or go and find recovery in AA.

NA DOES have an opinion on DRT and it IS slowly tearing us apart because of that opinion.
If ANYONE has any history, knowledge, foresight, hindsight, I am interested in hearing from you. Eventually I would like to send an article to NAWS and eventually the NA WAY magazine. I know there are many that feel the way I do, so please, any info I can get will be helpful.

In Loving Service
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:39 AM   #2 (permalink)

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 6
I just wanted to say thank you for this and for any work you will do going forward to bring this issue to light.

My son is the addict (24yo). 4 years on heroin. Last year he stopped with the help of methadone. When he told me, for 3 seconds I thought "oh no" because having learned of his disease and watching him attempt recovery many, many times even attending AA with him, I thought he just "replaced one drug with another.” Sounds familiar, right?

He was afraid to tell me because he was ashamed.

And then I asked to see this news differently.

He had been at a job 6 months, paid us back some money he owed, moved into an apartment, paid all his bills on time, and has saved $1,000 for a car.

I saw this news as a godsend.

He came to Thanksgiving, Christmas and a week long vacation with cousins. During that week, my husband drove him to his clinic and proudly stood with his son.

Today my son is alive. He is building a life. He is making his living amends. This is what his recovery looks like.

He would never go into an AA or NA meeting because he is on DRT and is missing out on the fellowship and that does make me sad. Someone could be saved if they heard his story and instead of leaving the meeting and using (as my son has done countless times) they might pull him aside and say…tell me more!

Again, thank you.
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